A synopsis is a concise but informative blurb that gives an accurate description of what your manuscript is all about. This must be written in the present tense and should not be longer than one page, less if possible. Editors don’t want to and don’t have time to read pages and pages, so you want to grab their interest quickly.
A well-written synopsis should give an outline of the plot but not tell the whole story. If there are sub plots running through the story, include them as well. You also need to include information on the primary characters within a story.
As well, identify the main character, why he or she is important and how they relate to other characters. Make sure to also include the main character’s motivation and if important, the driving force of any other character in the story. State the main conflict or problem within the story that your main character must overcome and explain how he or she (and any other important character) is changed by the events that occur within the story.
It is also acceptable to include a short but vital scene from your manuscript. Technically, a synopsis must flow, be neat and double-spaced. The font must be easy to read, such as Times New Roman or Courier.
Here is an example of the synopsis I wrote for Blood Vengeance: (Cold Case: #4-183) Not of this World:
(Tag Line) FBI Agent Jeremy Jones investigates a string of kidnapping, murder-suicides, while at the same time experiencing a series of visions that seem to somehow be related to the crimes.
Jones is still a rookie with the FBI, while his partner, Bailey Phillips has been with the agency for about 10 years. Because of the visions, the strong willed, hardnosed Bailey views him as a bit unstable. However, she cares about Jones perhaps a little more than she should so in her own way, she helps him unravel the mysterious visions.
The murders all take place in the upstairs bedrooms of the same house, but Jones and Phillips have difficulty trying to determine why this is happening, since the victims are not connected. The visions Jones experiences involve some of the victims before he even steps foot onto the crime scene, as well as visions of a young boy and a middle-aged fellow who seems to be very disturbed and calling out for help.
As one set of murders is followed by another, Jones frantically tries to fit the pieces of the puzzle together, trying to understand if and how his visions relate to the murders.
The murder cannot be caught and in fact, may not even be of this world.
Jones falls in love with a police sergeant with unexpected results.
A mysterious person follows Agent Bailey Phillips.
Brian Sault struggles with childhood memories, tries to find justice through the courts and makes a pact that he believes is with God.
Jones’ father was Navajo and he remembers an experience he had with him as a child that seems to connect to the present-day crimes.
A psychic is brought in on the case.
The house where the murders occur seems to be haunted.
Agent Phillips conceals her love for Jones.